The Ruins of Memory: Women’s Voices of the Holocaust
Adapted and Directed by Laura Ferri
Tales of the Alchemysts Theatre is excited to present our first fully staged performance piece, “The Ruins of Memory,” set to open in late October detailing women’s voices from the Holocaust.
Nazi Germany’s master plan to eradicate the Jewish people did not technically differentiate between genders. However, as professed by Holocaust educators, Carol Rittner and John Roth, “Any consistent Nazi plan had to target Jewish women specifically as they were the only ones who would finally be able to ensure the continuity of Jewish life.” The odds of a woman surviving the death camps were much lower than those of a man. Yet aside from the diary of Anne Frank and the memories of Gisella Perl who was a Jewish doctor at Auschwitz, women’s voices are, for the most part, little known outside of academia. The most famous writers of that time – Victor Frankl, Primo Levi, Elie Wiesel – whose works have been widely read and discussed, are all male. We hope to provide some balance to that picture by showcasing stories that put the women, their suffering, and their experiences, at the forefront. The reflections of Jewish women tend to be more intimate, the lens more narrow as the focus is often on the home, family tensions, small moments or gestures that are the genesis for turning points and uniquely female forms of self-sacrifice, humiliation and heroism. In addition, our desire to include testimony from the Sephardic community will also fill a noticeable void in Holocaust studies, which tend to focus solely on the Eastern European community, ignoring the devastating loss of entire Jewish centers in Greece, Rhodes, and other areas in the Mediterranean. We expect the play will be both profoundly moving and illuminating.
Because Women’s Voices Need To Be Heard
Featuring the beautiful Ensemble of,
Kerry Jacinto, David S. Klein, Tadd Morgan, Olivia Ockey, Meg Emine Savlov
Carl Shutoff, clarinet and Mark Hilliard Wilson, guitar & percussion
Seattle Times Preview
Photo Credit – Olivia Ockey
Real Change Review – November 23, 2022
Photo Credits – Joe Iano
"NEVER FORGET" FOR FEAR OF BECOMING FORGOTTEN The Cholent An Interview with Emily Alhadeff, Laura Ferri and Shellie Shulkin
Photo Credit – Olivia Ockey
Funding for Tales of the Alchemysts Theatre, was made possible, in part, by a grant from the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle, and supported in part by an award from 4Culture.
The Susie and Arthur Goldman Charitable Fund
The Powell Family Foundation the Nancy E. Powell Division
Selections from A Hug from Afar by Claire Barkey Flash ©2016 are performed through
arrangement with Cynthia Flash Hemphill. All rights reserved.
“Arrivals, Departures” from Auschwitz And After is performed through arrangement
with Georges Borchardt, Inc., on behalf of the author Charlotte Delbo. All rights
Excerpts from the oral history of Zenia Malecki granted by Sophie Dichter.
Based on the stories “A Scrap of Time,” “Behind the Hedge,” “Aryan Papers,”
and “The Key Game” by Ida Fink.
Excerpts from the oral histories of Zenia Malecki and Aida Brydbord from Mothers,
Sisters, Resisters, edited by Brana Gurewitsch (University of Alabama Press, 1998, ©Brana Gurewitsch). Used with permission of the University of Alabama Press.
Excerpts from the letters of Etty Hillesum from The Etty Hillesum Foundation.
Based on the book, We Were So Beloved: Autobiography of a German Jewish Community,
©1997 by Gloria DeVidas Kirchheimer & Manfred Kirchheimer.
Excerpts from the oral history of Isabella Leitner granted by Dr. Peter Leitner and
Excerpts from the oral history of Laura Varon granted by University of Washington
Libraries, Special Collections, OHC0119.